Sunera Thobani is Associate Professor at the Centre for Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of British Columbia. Since her appointment at UBC, Dr. Thobani has been committed to using an interdisciplinary approach in her teaching and research, and to maintaining her involvement in community and social justice activities. Dr. Thobani’s academic publications include articles in journals such as Canadian Woman Studies, Atlantis: A Women’s Studies Journal, Journal of Canadian Women and the Law, Refuge, Feminist Theory and Race & Class. Her research focuses on globalization, citizenship, migration and race and gender relations. Her book, Exalted Subjects: Studies in the Making of Race and Nation in Canada, was by the University of Toronto Press (2007), and her current research projects focus on Gender, Race, Globalization and Media Representations of the War on Terror.
Dr. Thobani is also past president of the National Action Committee on the Status of Women (NAC), Canada’s then largest feminist organization (1993-1996). The first woman of colour to serve in this position, Ms. Thobani’s tenure was committed to making the politics of anti-racism central to the women’s movement. In her community work she has written and spoken on many issues, including the impact of globalization on women’s citizenship; Canadian immigration and social policy; new reproductive technologies; violence against women; and women and APEC. She has been invited to help organize and give addresses at numerous international conferences, including the NGO Forum at the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, China (1996), the First International Women’s Conference on APEC in Manila, Philippines (1996), and the National Association of Black, Asian and Ethnic Minority Councillors in Manchester, Britain(1998). She is also a founding member of the cross-Canada Researchers and Academics of Colour for Equity (RACE) network (2000).
“One of my major goals is to reach young women and to teach them about women’s activism, historically,” says Dr Thobani. For her, women’s empowerment is about “creating real material options for women to end poverty and violence in their lives.” As a Muslim woman and scholar, Dr. Thobani is at the forefront of educating people about Islam and its values. She challenges women to achieve more and sets the record straight on the stereotypes surrounding Muslim women.
“It is very important for young women to think critically, to feel the power that women have and to join forces with those who want a world based on justice.”
Day 12 of Racism Free Ontario’s 100 People of Colour Spotlight.
( Videos and more @ Sunera Thobani)